News: Matt Cooke (hip flexor) has begun skating without full gear this week, Rachel Blount of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: Matt Cooke has missed the last 12 games with the ailment and appears set to sit out several more contests, since he'll some time to make up for the lost conditioning work. Nonetheless, the Wild seem to be encouraged that he's at least back on the ice after he had failed to make much progress with his recovery over the last couple weeks.
News: David Booth (foot) has been activated from injured reserve in advance of Wednesday's game against the Penguins, James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail reports. Analysis: David Booth will make his Leafs debut Wednesday after the broken foot cost him nearly eight weeks of action. He figures to slot in among the Leafs' bottom-six forwards this season, which won't allow him to gain much traction in fantasy circles.
News: Joffrey Lupul (hand) was taken off injured reserve in preparation for his return Wednesday versus the Penguins, James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail reports. Analysis: The broken hand cost Joffrey Lupul approximately four weeks, but lengthy absences aren't new for the forward at this stage of his injury-riddled career. Though his track record suggests he'll miss time later on this season due to another injury, Lupul has been a productive player when he's been able to suit up. He collected two goals in his first nine games this season before suffering the broken hand.
News: Brandon Dubinsky (abdomen) is not expected to be ready to play in either of the Blue Jackets' games over the weekend, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Brandon Dubinsky first returned to the ice Monday following a recent setback in his recovery from abdominal surgery, so he'll still need several more practices to get back up to full speed. The Blue Jackets have dealt with a number of lengthy absences due to injury this season, but few have been more significant than Dubinsky's. While not an elite scorer, Dubinsky is sound in just about every phase of the game and will represent a welcome addition to Columbus' top-six once he's healthy.
News: Pavel Datsyuk notched two goals in Wednesday's 5-2 win over the Flyers. Analysis: Wednesday's game was Pavel Datsyuk's first since Nov. 16 due to a nagging groin injury, but the center proved once again that he's still an elite fantasy producer when healthy. His second goal was also the game winner, and moved his point total to 13 through 11 games this season.
News: Stephen Weiss picked up a goal and an assist in Wednesday's 5-2 win over the Flyers. Analysis: Stephen Weiss was rather unproductive in his first season with the Red Wings, as injury troubles limited him to just two goals and two assists in 26 games in 2013-14. This season started out similarly for Weiss on the injury front, but he's shown a massive uptick in production when healthy, collecting four points in just two games since returning.
News: Jimmy Howard allowed two goals on 24 shots in Wednesday's 5-2 win over the Flyers. Analysis: Jimmy Howard was impressive once again, improving his record to 10-4-4 in 18 games on the season. His 2.09 GAA is fourth best in the league at this point, and he'll continue to get the majority of the starts as long as he stays healthy.
News: Claude Giroux notched a goal and an assist in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Red Wings. Analysis: Despite a disappointing start to the season for his team, Claude Giroux and linemate Jakub Voracek continue to rack up points. Giroux's 19 assists are the third most in the league, and his 26 points rank him sixth.
News: Ray Emery allowed one goal on 10 shots in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Red Wings. Analysis: Ray Emery came on in relief of Steve Mason midway through the second period, but the game's outcome was already pretty much decided. He played well in relief, and is now 4-3-1 in nine appearances on the season.
News: Steve Mason was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Red Wings. Analysis: After shutting out the Islanders on Monday only to end up losing in a shootout, Steve Mason's bad luck continued Wednesday. He's now 4-7-2 on the season, and with the team in front of him allowing 32.7 shots per game, that record doesn't look likely to improve anytime soon.